John Allen Muhammad, known as the DC Sniper was executed around 9:00 pm on November 10, 2009. Did we get it right? Should we shout for joy or weep for sadness? The eyes of the whole world were on us as we took an eye for an eye, a life for a life. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, taking an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. None of the western European countries give the death penalty. We’re in the company of Iran, Iraq, China and the Congo. Is that the company we want to keep? I was always taught to watch who you keep company with. We no longer give 20 lashes for theft. We don’t give a rape sentence to a rapist. So why do we still kill a killer?
Were the victims’ families comforted by his execution? I doubt it. When have we ever been comforted by an act of violence? Violence never gives peace nor comfort. Violence begets violence. We cannot restore life by taking a life. Coretta Scott King once said an evil act is not redeemed by an evil act of retaliation. She kew something about being the victim of a killer.
By taking the life of John Allen Muhammad, we risk taking the life of a truly innocent person somewhere on death row now. That’s the problem I have with the death penalty. It’s like the movie trailer that says you can win a million dollars but someone has to die. We can kill a John Allen Muhammad but some innocent person somewhere else must die too.
Statistices show hundreds of persons on death row have been exonnerated. In the reverse, persons have been sent to death due to later discovered faulty DNA evidence. The loss of taking even one innocent person is not worth having the death penalty for one John Allen Muhammad. We value life in this country more than anything.
Should we shout for joy or weep for sadness over John Allen Muhammad’s execution? We should weep for our country. Until we get it right, we will never have it right. We will never have peace.
Did you weep, shout or remain silent?